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Merlin

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About Merlin

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    Proto Star
  1. Some PST's seem to be assembled in a hurry. It might just be that the etalon tuning ring isn't quite tuning to the full position. The solution to this is to unscrew the outer etalon ring to expose an inner ring that can be turned to a new ( clockwise? ) position when the screws in it are removed, then reassembled. Please do not attempt this procedure without proper instruction.
  2. Surface detail does seem to have been in short supply, even though prominences have been, well, prominent. Maybe, as you say, the apparent dearth of disc detail has something to do with the fact that the sun is low at this time of year, or maybe it's and effect of the solar minimum that's now ending. This year I replaced the ITF ( the bottom filter above the prism box ), but with a Beloptik one not the original Meade. At first, I suspected that it might have been the new filter, but it isn't. By the way, anyone who needs to replace the ITF should consider the German filter. Oliver at Beloptik claims that it doesn't age.
  3. I've seen the Omicron2 white dwarf in a Prinz 60mm/f.11 refractor some years ago; it was more obvious with averted vision. The White dwarf orbits the red dwarf in 240 years and the pair orbit the primary in 8000 years. There' s all the time in the world in astronomy. As you say, this is an interesting trio, showing three stars in different stages of stellar evolution.
  4. One thing we can't avoid when hand-holding binoculars is the heart beat. I find that a triangular frame with hand grips at the bottom is more steady than a monopod.
  5. A solution I've found to keeping the weather out of the 8-inch Newtonian was to put an optical window on the front of the tube. I went to Asda's and checked out their clocks. I settled for a £6 clock with a glass front that, with its aluminium collar, is the same diameter as the tube. The collar fits the tube like a glove.The glass itself is very thin and very clear. One concern I had at having a DIY unworked optical window was the possibility of astigmatism. I saw no optical defects in moon and star tests. Purists might wince at the thought of making this mod, but it works for me. Of course, it's necessary to cover the back of the mirror cell too. Cool down time for the 'scope shouldn't take any longer than for a SCT.
  6. It's been my experience that M33 is easy to see in the right sky conditions. Years ago, before the proliferation of insecurity lights, I saw this galaxy from the back lawn lining on my back with 8X40 binoculars. The Galaxy was so distinct that I thought it was a small white cloud and almost directly overhead. I checked a star map and saw that the "cloud" was M33.
  7. If you need a mirror recoat there's www.scientificmirrors.co.uk .
  8. For spltting close double stars we can go quite some way beyond the theoretical limit of magnification, as stars are only point sources.
  9. Lunt are good. I have a LS50f etalon attached to a small refractor. I can also double-stack it to the PST. I need a KG3 filter to replace the fogged one in the B600. I once bought a replacement from a British firm, but I can't remember who. They only charged £3 plus £2 postage. Can anyone recommend a UK supplier?
  10. Small 'scopes are okay for showing planetary details, but for deep sky objects, that's where a bigger 'scope comes into its own.
  11. I have a neighbour whose security light was ludicrously angled. I pointed out to him that security lights illuminate other people's premises making it easier for burglars to see where they are going. He saw the logic of that and has switched his light off altogether.
  12. I have a number of types of binoculars, including 7X50 and 10X50s. I tend to use the latter more than the former bins. The difference in magnification makes it more difficult to hold the 10X50s steady, so I mount them on a frame ( a monopod is okay ) with hand grips and find them much steadier. A 7X50 gives wider fields for comet searches, etc.
  13. Star images are stretched. It looks like the optics are out of collimation, but I'm no expert.
  14. Nice yes, but too small an aperture for serious astronomy. Give me a standard 8-inch Newtonian anytime.
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